So many writing and “critique” sites out there promise that you will get feedback when you upload your work. FictionPress, Critique Circle, Figment, Booksie, etc., all have friendly communities of people who are willing to help you.
But… the majority of “critique” sites out there are made up of n00b writers who have very little knowledge of the craft of fiction. This is not a bad thing at all; we’re all n00bs at some point and the support and friendship of other n00bs is great, but when it comes to improving our craft, how helpful can these sites and their members be?
To get a real critique, I think it’s more valuable to speak to people in person – people who are as serious about writing as we are. Now, some of these people may be found in online “critique” groups, but they’re definitely rarities.
I’m on FictionPress (it’s my favorite of all the “critique” sites) and I enjoy getting reviews and “critiques” there, even if they’re only something like “good chapter.” I love knowing that my readers are enjoying the story and taking the time to comment on it. But I’ve gotten very few critiques that I can use to improve my writing. Is it because readers are too shy to say something they think is negative? Or is it because they don’t have adequate knowledge of the craft or don’t know how to critique well?
So are “critique” sites just blind n00b writers leading other blind n00b writers? Does it all depend on who you network with? In-person critiques or online? Share your thoughts! 🙂